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Forums Apple Final Cut Pro X Ripple option not available on some tracks?

  • Ripple option not available on some tracks?

  • Daniel Jewesbury

    March 31, 2017 at 7:53 pm


    I used to be an expert level user on older FCP, deserted it after X first came out and am now trying to return and learn 10.3. I have a timeline that was built around a voiceover that was laid down first; I’m now putting video clips on the track above. The ripple tool option is available on the audio track – the little curled filmstrip icon beside the cursor – but it is not available when I hover above edits in the video track. I have to shift the out or in point of one clip and then manually move the adjacent clip.

    Any clues? Have I made a basic error in assembling my timeline?

    Thanks in advance, apologies for stupid question, can’t find anything online…


  • Michael Hancock

    March 31, 2017 at 8:22 pm

    If the audio is in the primary storyline, then your other clips are connected clips. If you want them to maintain sync with each other you’ll need to select them all and make them a secondary storyline. Then you can trim one and the rest with roll with your trim.

    Michael Hancock

  • Daniel Jewesbury

    March 31, 2017 at 8:26 pm

    Ah yes, this is where my understanding of the timeline in FCP X gets shaky. Primary and secondary storylines I understand in principle but only very vaguely..

    The thing is that none of the image has to sync with any of the audio. The audio is a voiceover that’s totally independent, time-wise, of the video. So I gather that I need to make my secondary storyline into a primary storyline. How does one do that?

  • Daniel Jewesbury

    March 31, 2017 at 8:33 pm

    OK – got it. Some dragging and dropping. Not as instinctive as I’d have expected but it’s been a long time…

  • Bret Williams

    April 1, 2017 at 12:03 am

    Selecting everything in the primary and pressing cmd opt up arrow will take it out of the primary. As well, selecting non primary clips and pressing cmd opt down arrow will place them in primary and bump out primary stuff where necessary.

    _______________________________________________________________________ FCP X Plugins & Templates for Editors & Motion Graphics Artists

  • Andy Neil

    April 1, 2017 at 5:00 am

    There are two basic ways to work with this kind of structure quickly. If you audio is just a VO and doesn’t need to maintain sync with broll elements, then I suggest bumping the VO out of the primary instead of cutting broll into a secondary.

    For help with your understanding, a secondary storyline is just a connected clip container. Like every connected clip (ie: anything not in the primary), secondaries are attached to a specific clip or gap in the primary. Secondaries differ from regular connected clips in that you can stuff them with multiple clips and everything is grouped together and attached at only the one point. Inside the container, you can perform ripple edits and even edit into the container directly. This is helpful in scenarios where you want a sequence of broll to be connected to a specific point or audio cue in your story.

    In cases like yours where you want to just cover the entire VO with broll, it’s more helpful to make the VO a secondary storyline instead of primary. You do this by lassoing everything in the primary and hitting CMD+OPT+up arrow. This will gather all your VO and drop it below your primary, leaving a gap clip in its place. Then you select whatever broll you’ve already edited into your timeline and hit CMD+OPT+down arrow to drop those connected clips into your primary. Then you can broll and ripple delete to your hearts content.


  • Daniel Jewesbury

    April 1, 2017 at 11:31 am

    Thanks Andy.. Gradually getting my head around this. What I’m not getting really is the way in which my audio (now shifted from the primary storyline) insists on being attached to the b-roll that is now in the primary storyline. So when I drop a few video clips in and fine tune the edits with a ripple, it now wants to shift the audio along too. So I started using the Position tool instead and I couldn’t figure out why it would do what I wanted with one clip and not do it with the others.. Position doesn’t seem to allow you to shift the video independent of the magnetically attached audio.

  • Michael Hancock

    April 1, 2017 at 12:48 pm

    [Daniel Jewesbury] “What I’m not getting really is the way in which my audio (now shifted from the primary storyline) insists on being attached to the b-roll that is now in the primary storyline. So when I drop a few video clips in and fine tune the edits with a ripple, it now wants to shift the audio along too. “

    This is the FCPX magnetic in action. If your broll is now the primary storyline, the audio will always be connected to it, so adding/moving/trimming the primary will shift the connected clips (your audio), with it, unless you use the position tool. But if you use the position tool you lose the ability to do your normal trim commands. Instead your trims will leave gaps and you will need to mouse around a lot.

    Try this –

    Select all of your audio and make them a secondary storyline. This puts them in a container, like a track, that has only one connection point. And by default the connection point will be the first frame of that storyline, which will probably be connected to the first frame of your video. Now you can trim/insert/overwrite/extract your broll at will and the audio storyline won’t slip and slide around, unless you do something to the clip that the storyline is connected to.

    If you want to use the position tool and move a clip without moving the audio, hold down ~ on your keyboard when you move the clip and it will temporarily disable clip connections, leaving your audio in place.

    Michael Hancock

  • Fedor von Hengstenberg

    April 24, 2017 at 9:02 am

    Probably the easiest way to start such projects is to open a new project and hit alt-W to generate a default gap clip. Then make sure that you are on the first frame, choose your VO audio file in the browser and hit Q. Thus, it will be connected to the gap clip. You might want to click on the gap clip and change its duration to 5 frames or so. Then you can go on an append all your B roll into the primary storyline and edit to your heart’s content. The VO will stay with the gap clip. If you want to get rid of the gap clip at the end of your edit, move the VO connection point a few frames downstream, so that you can delete the gap clip w/o deleting the VO.

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